Have you ever gone into a business or have spoken to someone on the phone from a company and they were rude? Who hasn’t! Manners go a long way when dealing with the public but what about in the office?
Over the weekend I posted this photo of my eight year old daughter Abby making out thank you cards thanking her friends for her birthday presents.
The response I received from friends and notes on this picture were surprising a lot. They were shocked that people actually spend the time writing thanks you’s (they did but they didn’t know how many other people out there still do). In a world where texts supersede emails and calls because they take too much time, the immediacy of the here and now have replaced that intimacy and personal connection of making time for someone. It’s not like writing letters or thank you notes takes a very long time but in a world where TY! is texted out in milliseconds, getting something in the mail just shows you someone cared enough to take a breath and say thank you. It also shows your character.
Why am I bringing this up? Because manners goes a long way in business. I have received such wonderful, handwritten personal thank you’s from some of the world’s greatest business leaders over the years and it just shows you manners still exist. Glenn Youngkin, COO of Carlyle, discussed culture and business etiquette off camera with me one day. He said, “We have two rules—always return your calls and walk people to the elevator.” Youngkin also told me they have taken notice when other executives have not done that for them and it gives them pause.
If you don’t have the common courtesy to do something as simple as walking someone to the door what does that say about you? Your leadership? How do you treat your employees? Do you say good morning to your staff or do you hole yourself up in your office? Do you say “God Bless You”, “Bless You” or “Gesundheit” when someone sneezes? Do you thank someone if they say it? (Yes I have worked where people sneeze and no one says anything and no one says thank you- pretty sad uh?)
The lesson is simple: You get the respect you give. All good leaders have manners. It’s a necessary part of your foundation. If you don’t have that, you’ll not have the support of others or a customer base that will come back. Sometimes it’s the little things that set you apart and above the rest. YOU!